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Hi,

I am really new to avrs and don't know much about them. I have been using the basic stamp for a while now and find it quite easy to work with, but the problem is I want to use them in dedicated projects but don't want to spend too much. I would like to build a usb avr programmer so I can program a heap of chips for dedicated projects and have found a couple of sites which ont really help and i don't understand there brief instructions.

Does anyone have any easy to understand instructions on how to build an usb avr programmer? Or even a instruction guide on how to set up a home made arduino?

Much appreciated thanks.
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I'd recommend starting with at least one official Arduino so you have a known device to learn how things work, from there...

You can use an Arduino to put a bootstrap loader into other chips.
http://www.arduino.cc/playground/BootCloner/BootCloner

The schematics are in the hardware section if you want to make your own Arduino. It is simple enough that you can put it together on a prototyping board. The part that gets complicated is if you want the USB<->RS232 converter. These don't come in DIP packages. I'm not sure if there is one that works at 5V, but I've used a Nokia cell phone data cable in other cases. Some models of these are just USB<->3.3v RS232 converter cables.

If you are cost sensitive and close enough to the US, SparkFun sells the Olimex 28 pin AVR board for $16 (+$4 for an Atmega8) http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=29 It is serial interfaced instead of USB and its LED is in a funny spot from the Arduino perspective, but it has a good amount of holes for piecing things together. You'll probably want to put in a 16MHz crystal so you don't have to mess with making a different boot loader image. And you have to connect the RX and TX pins to the level converter on board. Remember to cross them.
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Thank you for your help, i probably should experiment with the arduino first since there is so much helpful documentation.
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